Archive for the ‘Pikes Peak’ Category

Pages from my Colorado Plein Air Journal, August 17, 2010

August 17, 2010

Pike's Peak from Garden of the Gods

Most of my blog entries are tossed in rather quickly.  But I’ve kept a journal since the late 1980’s, and tonight I thought I might go ahead and post what I wrote in my journal while on my Colorado vacation.  Following are the pages related to my Garden of the Gods plein air watercolor sketches:

August 5, 2010, 2:25 p.m.–“Today while Sandi rested and napped at the La Quinta, I met Carolye at Garden of the Gods at 7:00 a.m.  We painted three hours and produced a pair of paintings each.  Tomorrow we’ll begin around 6:00 and I’ll paint Camel’s Kiss–a huge pink rock formation with ribbons of mountain ranges behind it.”

“I jumped right into the plein air this morning.  My eye was engaged with every detail on those mountains, trees and sky colors.  I tried in earnest to match my colors to reality.  And I really studied the terrain with joy and enthusiasm.  Carolye was pleasant to visit with–totally engaged in her work.  She asked plenty of questions and I was all-too-glad to respond.  We also talked of other things.  All in all, a very pleasant morning of conversation and painting.”

“I was pleased with my two watercolor sketches.  I feel that I got the job done.  I was pleased as soon as I had ‘one painting in the box’ as I’ve heard other plein air artists say.  Words cannot capture what I feel when I’m painting en plein air. And especially today–my first Colorado mountains en plein air. I was always such a chicken shit before–taking photographs, first the 35mm and then later the digital, and still not watercoloring mountainscapes.  Well–the enthusiasm began last night as Sandi and I admired the mountain ranges along the Colorado City rest stop, and finally this morning, I did it!”

“Tomorrow, at the 6:00 a.m. Garden of the Gods excursion, I shall set up the French easel and use if for the first time.  I plan a watercolor landscape this time on a full sheet of block paper.  It will be my first endeavor, standing to watercolor at an easel.”

[O.K., there is the journal entry.  I note that there is no journal entry describing the above photo, and that is because I painted it from about 6:00-8:00 a.m., then Sandi and I dashed to the hotel to pack, check out, and drive to Denver International Airport to pick up a fishing buddy who had flown up from Arlington and arrived around 7:00 that morning.]

And finally, the last of my Vacation Posts, August 16, 2010

August 16, 2010

Morning Mist at the Garden of the Gods

One last watercolor sketch–this was my second plein air work done at the Garden of the Gods on the first morning, following my initial Pike’s Peak sketch attempt.  Yesterday, while wrapping up my vacation in Lubbock, Texas, I re-worked the foreground foliage on this to try and set it off  better.

Thank you for reading.

Kissing Camels, Garden of the Gods, August 16, 2010

August 16, 2010

Kissing Camels Garden of the Gods

On my final morning in Colorado Springs, I re-joined Carolye Asfahl at Garden of the Gods and went to work on this vista in the rising sun before my departure to Denver.  Kissing Camels is called such because of the extreme left of this rock formation, where kneeling camels in profile appear to be touching muzzles.  The morning was fresh and beautiful and the light was terrific, as usual in the Colorado climate.  I hated to leave Garden of the Gods.

I finished up this composition by re-touching the sky and some of the background trees, while finishing up my vacation yesterday, in Lubbock, Texas.

Thanks for reading.

Finished my first Pike’s Peak plein air watercolor sketch, August 16, 2010

August 16, 2010

Morning Watch at Pike's Peak

This watercolor sketch will always hold special meaning for me.  It was my primary intention while vacationing in Colorado this year to do plein air watercolor, and to focus on mountains.  It just happens that my first attempt was of Pike’s Peak viewed from Garden of the Gods.  I had the privilege of painting alongside Carolye Asfahl of Colorado Springs, my student from my first year of teaching at Lamar High School, Arlington, Texas.  Carolye is a very gifted artist who has recently committed to doing watercolors en plein air. It is my genuine hope that she will start a blog soon and post her fabulous works.

This sketch was begun on location, and then tweaked yesterday while I finished my vacation in Lubbock, Texas.